In 2014, French cement manufacturer Lafarge was forced to shut down its factory in northern Syria due to the ongoing civil war. Despite this, the company continued to operate in the region until it was forced to withdraw its operations in 2018. The closure of the factory came after allegations surfaced that Lafarge had paid millions of dollars to armed groups, including ISIS, Kurdish groups and smaller Islamist militias, to maintain its operations.
Now, the French anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office is preparing to take legal action against seven individuals from Lafarge’s management team and security department, as well as two Syrian middlemen. The charges allege that these individuals were involved in acts between 2012 and 2014 that facilitated terrorist financing and crimes against humanity.
Lafarge has faced significant scrutiny for its business practices in Syria, which have damaged its reputation and raised concerns among stakeholders. The legal proceedings against the company could lead to further consequences for those involved in the business operations in Syria. However, some argue that Lafarge’s actions were necessary given the volatile nature of the region at the time.